Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mark Turpin: Gene Lance

I hope it's okay with Mark if I post another of his poems. Again I urge you, if you like this, support poets who can drive nails: buy the book.

Gene Lance

He misses the years after the war.
The tracts of houses springing up.
His first job the lead man gave him

a plumbstick and a sledge and said --
knock all the doorframes plumb,
but stay away from my house.

Hunched in a truck bed
he passed miles of half-built frames,
a single floor-plan flipped or flopped.

Wood so green the yardman said
he saw a 2x4 take root.
Joists spat into their faces as they

flew their commons in. High on
the roof ridge, as shadows stretched
past noon, they'd hail - singing

down at laborers on the ground:
Bring us more lumber! More nails!
We are the kings of carpentry!

-- Mark Turpin, Hammer: Poems, copyright © 2003 by Mark Turpin

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